Tommy Haas gains revenge over Philipp Kohlschreiber
In a dramatic tie break in the first semi-final at the GERRY WEBER OPEN, Tommy Haas of TC Großhessellohe Munich defeated his compatriot Philipp Kohlschreiber of TK Kurhaus Aachen in three sets: 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-3). With that result, he reached the tournament's final for the first time.
He wanted revenge for the defeat to Kohlschreiber in the second round last year, when Haas was beaten 5-7, 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), but for a long while, it did not look like that was going to happen.
The 31-year-old made four out of nine double faults in the first set alone. With the first, he practically delivered Kohlschreiber his first break on a silver plate. Whatever he tried, Kohlschreiber always had the right answer. “The first set was fantastic,” recalled a clearly disappointed Kohlschreiber after the defeat. The second break soon followed and, after just half an hour, a nervous-looking Haas was one set down. Kohlschreiber sealed the set victory in style, not dropping a single point on his service game. Haas had spent too much of the early stages pondering what to do and it appeared to take him too long to fully concentrate on the match. “He could have finished me off far earlier,” admitted Haas, showing respect for his younger opponent's performance.
The second set went a lot better for the USA resident. He seemed more relaxed and kept his serve well. And then, the long-awaited chance to break arrived. But at 3-4 and 30-40, Kohlschreiber held the upper hand and averted the danger of going behind.
The third and final set started off rather worryingly for Haas once again. A break in the very first game knocked him back. But then the turning point arrived. His game became more assured and, with a 4-1 lead, he remembered that his opponent had come back from the very same score to defeat him last year, as he later admitted. Haas thought to himself it was time to turn things around, but the fact that he actually pulled it off came as a surprise to the Hamburg-born Haas. “Gaining revenge was very important for me,” he said. Particularly since he was able to reach a final “at home in Germany”. These are the moments that Haas enjoys and, should he go one better to win tomorrow, it would be his first ever title on grass. The last hurdle he has to cross will be either Olivier Rochus of Belgium or Novak Djokovic of Serbia. “Djokovic is the favourite for sure, but when you reach a final, then you want to win it,” he said.
However, the day is not yet over for either of them. They have another game coming up, and they are up against each other once again in the doubles' semi-final. While Tommy Haas will be able to enjoy the intervening break, Kohlschreiber will need a bit of encouragement. “It is going to take one or two hours before I can learn to enjoy myself again, but then I will do what I can to succeed in the doubles,” he said.